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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  August 26, 2012 12:30pm-1:00pm PDT

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>> "inside washington" is brought you in part by the american federation of government employees, proud to make america work. for more information about afge and membership, visit >> production assistance for "inside washington" was provided by allbritton communications and politico, reporting on the legislative, executive, and political arena. >> i will set a national goal of america and north america, north
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american energy independence by 2020. >> this is the most important election in our lifetimes, no matter what generation you come from. >> this week on "inside washington," mitt romney and paul ryan tried to get their campaign back on message and away from this. >> what is forcible rape? >> rape is rape, period, end of story. >> the senate candidate who triggered the dustup refuses to quit. >> i misspoke when word on one sentence on monday and everything changed overnight. >> reality rears its ugly head. the congressional budget office sees economic disaster ahead. after 11 years of fighting, the death toll in afghanistan reaches 2000 trade why aren't the candidates talking about that? captioned by the national captioning institute
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after days of dealing with conversation about rape and abortion, mitt romney unveiled his energy plan. it calls for more offshore oil drilling, including on the mid- atlantic coast. romney wants to give the state's power to greenlight drilling on federal land. he says the plan will bring energy independence by 2020. this is a great campaign issue. instead, the focus of the romney-writing campaign was on rape and abortio bause of this -- >> from what i understand from doctors, if it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down. >> the republican establishment has been trying to shut down missouri republican congressman todd akin ever since he said that. senator claire mccaskill, his opponent, is hoping he won't quit, and he says he won't quit.
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if he stays in, mccaskill has a shot at saving her seat. how critical is that seat to the democrats, mark? >> democrats are fighting to makmaintain control of the senate. claire mccaskill had been considered the most vulnerable. todd akin was considered the weakest republican challenger, and he may have indicated that suggestion this week. >> when you look at what happened, it is the romney campaign snake bit, charles? >> they were on a roll, they had an exciting a vice presidential candidate. the focus had shifted to larger issues, where i think the republicans or strong or at least feel comfortable. all of a sudden this crank in missouri -- i mean, he is so much in denial, in that clip use of, he thinks he made a mistake of addiction. the guy is out to lunch. but he stands alone. the democrats see a tremendous opening of pretending that he is
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a spokesman for the republicans, whereas he is a pariah and that is going to be the struggle. >> but that the virus spreads, evan. can you believe it is 2012 and we are still talking about abortion? >> the amazing thing to me is that the guys polls went up at worst. never underestimate the grass roots and their defiance of us, the media elites and all that. but as time passed, his polls started going down again. that will probably get him out. once his polls crater, he will get out. >> nina? >> this subject is not as important as the economy and many things we're talking about, but it brought to light that there were a lot of repubcans, including paul ryan, who voted for a provision that would have banned abortion for forcible rape.
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now, he now says rape is rape. he did not agree initially with romney. but to pretend that this is not a serious strain in the republican party and part of the pro-life movement is to blame yourself. >> here is michelle obama campaigning in florida. >> this election, ladies, is the choice about supporting women and families. [applause] make sure that you tell people that you're president believes that women should be able to make our own choices about our health care. >> there you go, a real platform, an opportunity for the democrats, the women's vote. >> this is not black and white. there is no question that congressman akin has done enormous damage, but according to the gallup poll, this is an
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issue that divides the country. 1/3 of democrats are pro-life. a majority of independents call themselves pro-life rather than pro-choice. this is a get-out-the-vote issue for women, especially pro-choice women. let me make one exception to my colleagues here. i think it was bad for the democrats. i think the democrats went for the cat of abortion this week, which is not a decisive issue. they were rolling up the score on medicare against paul ryan -- >> i agree with you. >> they had a chance to define paul ryan as mr. change medicare. as republican tom davis said to me, there is no member of congress who will make the case that medicare is not popular. if you're talking about voters over age 65, and the margin dropping two points for romney after they won by 18 points in 2010, this is where they want to
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be. instead, they went for the cabinet. >> that the of time to demagogue, medicare, don't you think? >> it is not demagogue, it is defining paul ryan into the convention. he stands for a voucher rising medicare. that is the debate you want to have if you're a democrat. >> charles? >> i don't know where to start. abortion is the only social issue which has moved right over the last generation. gay rights, other things. obviously, the countries become more liberal. but abortion, i think as a result of all for sound and high technology, is remarkable in the fact that there is a majority of people are now pro-life. it is a narrow majority, so a it sue fora gimmer is the democrats. i agree with mark on that.
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but on medicare, it is an insult to the american people to define him as a guy who wants to voucherize medicare paid his plan, which ron wyden joined in on, allows normal medicare to continue as an option, and it does not at all cut off the old medicare. it does not affect anybody over 55. to demagogue it had to say to all people in florida that you will lose medicare is simply false. you can win with lies, but it requires a belief that you can just propagandize anything. >> 30 seconds. >> the "wall street journal"-nbc poll lead output options. 3-2, voters said they wanted medicare preserved. evan makes the case that you cannot afford it. that is legitimate and
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compelling, but given the choice, republicans are on the defensive. >> how was the alternative to fight in the poll? >> bill mcintosh, republican pollster, romney's poller's partner -- >> tell me what he wrote. what were the words? >> if we have time, i will get a doubt -- >> i have the time. .> we don't have time >> if i am the president of the united states and a few months here -- [applause] i will set a national goal of america and north america, north american energy indepeence by 2020. that means we produce all the energy we use in north america. >> mitt romney says it will
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create 3 million jobs in virginia and north carolina, two states critical in the election. he is a numbers guy, evan. >> but he is, as usual, being funny. he says it will bring down gas prices, energy prices. we are in a global market. no matter how much we drill, it will not have a big impact on energy prices. that part is just not true. it would be better if energy prices went up, because we need to develop alternative sources. >> which he is not really very interested in. >> they are doing a deal to drill bab -- they are doing the older drill, baby, drill thing. >> that is not true of natural gas. it is a local price, hard to shift. the price here is $3, priced in china is $20. we have reduced the price to the point where i.t. is almost too
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cheap for producers to go ahead and produce. yes, oil you are not going to bring down the world price, but you will with natural gas. we have just stumbled upon -- >> you just said it is already low. >> you can substitute coal and oil to make the infrastructure. the point is that we have stumbled upon the greatest discovery of energy in north america in the last 80 years, since the discovery of oil in the middle east, and we are squandering it by not drilling and by having -- or running on wind chills and sun -- windmills and sun. >> that is why at the convention will be fascinating, because we will find out who mitt romney is. was in office and was for gun control, and now he is mr. power
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crazy. we will find out who mitt is. >> know we will not. >> does he have convictions and character? >> the other question is, are we going to have oil and gas? >> we are drilling for gas right now. we will have a pipeline to canada, absolutely. whoever is elected president -- >> who blocked it? >> the enviros -- and nebraska has come to terms -- let me finish! let me finish, charles. we will have a gas pipeline. there are many people who feel like this is the magic bullet, and it will help the economy and all this kind of -- help in our production. but it doesn't mean that you just give up on alternative sources of energy, because there are prices to drill. >> what you are saying is
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president obama, in what mark would call a romneyesque flip- flop, is attending by blocking the pipeline until election day, because as soon as the election -- >> no, they had a deal with a nebraska. nebraska reneged on the deal for whatever reason. >> there was just a big -- >> state department who decides, not nebraska. who made the decision? >> they made an agreement with the state and did not get it. >> the state department by law is the one that decides. >> can you invoke my name again, charles? >> will you kids play nice? >> nina is absolutely right. >> yay! >> i'm sorry, i revoke that. [laughter]
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this is one or the administration is totally on the defensive. whoever wins or does not win, it would just be a change in policy. for the democrats, the policy defense would be that we defer to state rights, and for repuicans, we ignore states' rights, it tells you the level of four partners the ad campaign. -- level of hypocrisy in the campaign. >> with the nbc poll, governor romney and president obama, what does it tell us? >> 4-point lead for president obama. romney has real problems. four months after he has won the a moreion, butpeople at negative feeling toward him than a positive one. >> he is dangerously behind in ohio and florida. >> but people still disapprove of the way obama has held the presidency by a huge margin. >> i have an official statement
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to read. political satirist mark russell announced his coming out of retirement. "you may recall a val i made two years ago that i would come out of retirement the day that congressman a skinny dip in the sea of galilee." [laughter] we are still heading for a cliff in january. >> it is not too late to reignite the american dream. we can do this. >> of course, paul ryan and mitt romney are focused on november. obama andsident, an vice president biden, who, by the way, will attend the republican convention. the congressional budget office this week was focused on january, and his staff between republicans d democrats -- standoff between republicans and
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democrats. it would drive us into recession and cost 2 million jobs by the end of the year. >> this really scares me. having watched the way that the republicans and some democrats over raising the debt, and you talk to economists and they say we would not be in the pickle we are in today if we raise the debt and got the deal earlier. you watch as congress seems to be incapable of coming to consensus on anything. david brooks had a column in which he said that each party has a fantasy that the other doesn't exist. that fantasy could drive us into the ground. >> he also blasted paul ryan for not approving the erskine bowles -- >> that was his tennessee. he started out by saying that it was paul ryan's fantasy. >> the operative words are recession "by the end of the year." you have a lot of months
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between january and the following january i think they have to go over the cliff to get a deal. congress, as nina was saying, is so dysfunctional. unless it is armageddon ii, they will not do anything. they will go to the cliff, everybody will scream and run in circles, and then get a deal. it takes a while for the bad things to happen. >> this has been going on for at least two years, this kind of behavior. businesses make decisions in advance. they don't make them 10 months from now the minute there is an agreement. there is a whole atmosphere about whether the system is working on nine. >> you wonder why the voters are so angry. >> again, it is fascinating to me to watch the challenge of the president. we have an idea with the president has done, will do. mitt romney said he was going to keep taxes exactly the same
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level they work. now he has endorsed the plan to cut them by 31%, the lowest level -- top tax rate the lowest level it has been since 1931, since herbert hoover was in the white house. you get to that one of ideology in the republican party that we have to continue to lower taxes, in spite of the fact that the pentagon budget is now larger than the military to managers of the next 17 countries in the world, ok, and it has to be increased each year, you are not going to ever get to the point we're talking about without the bowles-simpson kind of solution. democrats have to confront it as well, that i.t. is not just going to be done on revenues. has toe done on cuts in entitlements. >> for the 100th time, there is a difficulty here in understanding the distinction between lowering tax rates and lowering tax revenues. what romney and ryan wanted it
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is lower tax rates and increase the amount that attacks by eliminating loopholes, deductions, exemptions and tax shelters, -- >> not saying what they are. >> which the rich are able to do an ordinary americans are not able to do. that is why you increase tax rates. democrats and republicans did the ultimate in tax reform. that is what we're talking about. >> war in afghanistan -- why are candidates not talking about that? these are the parents of the the 1998 american military service member to die and afghanistan. a week later, an army specialist died in a military hospital in germany. he was no. 2000 in this 11-year- old war. his mother says, "our forces
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shouldn't be there." why yarmuth the candidates talking about it, -- why aren't the candidates talking about it, mark? >> to the best of my knowledge, no president has been to a funeral of any of the spirit they don't know the people who are fighting and dying there. this the first time in your lifetime that we have had an election where none of the candidates has served in the military. ing, is the distance military leaders are concerned about -- the distance of military experience from the civilian experience. >> i agree that that is a huge issue, but i do think that presidents go to these hospitals -- i think the president to feel something. they but the hospitals and see it those who have lost limbs. that is a stretch. but you're larger point, that we have two worlds, the military
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world and civilian world, is a serious problem. >> there is a much more cynical recent. obama would like to get out, but it is is war right now and his strategy. romney does not want to say "i will stick in there and stay longer," because it is highly unpopular. >> whatever. we should still have a debate on this. >> but we are that by a president who does not talk about afghanistan. he is the commander in chief. can you remember of war where the president did not at least address the nation about what is happening? it happened in every war, including the iraq war. obama could honorably come in and said that it is a lost more, we will get out, and that would have been reasonable. he chose to triple the number of troops, he increase the number of casualties, and healing and of the war. now he is not speaking about it, as if it is not his war.
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his war in his decisions. >> there is a political ad bunning in which special ops guys criticize the president, saying that he did not kill osama bin laden, our guys did. there is a book coming out by a navy seal, and he will talk about the mission to kill bin laden. they supposed to clear this stuff? >> no question that delta force is an amazing fighting force, certainly up there with the all- time great warrior spirit they had a profound code. th youid notalk about this. they had been violating it lightly. they made a movie -- >> some of the seals were in it. >> i think it is a road to trouble. once you give away that code -- once you give that away, pretty soon people are poking around
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and will start looking at the not so pretty stouff. navy seals have to do for their country some unpretty things. i think i guess a mistake. think it is a mistake. >> there is a waiver that has to be signed. it does not matter if you are out of the seals -- >> if you have to sign a waiver, why is in the government saying -- >> it may do that. the obama administration does not -- >> do you want to restrain publicaon going into your -- >> exactly. it puts them in a difficult position. >> but you have to protect national security. >> self-restraint. we should not have to have restraining orders. >> we had this idea about the
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seals that seems to have been compromised by what they have been doing lately. at the same time, lance armstrong, who says he did not do it, but he is going to stop fighting -- >> you mean he did not dope himself. >> the justice department decided not to prosecute him. but at the same time, the official board says that this is an admission. i've learned something from the clemmons file. >> roger clemens. >> how these athletic commissions operate, which is not what you would want to have happen to you the mitchell commission, which i thought was pretty good -- i cannot think that it was something not to be proud of -- i came out thinking that iwas something to be proud of. >> where do you see this navy seal thing? >> we are getting into competing
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narrative's now. there is a movie, the release of which has been postponed until after the election, because it was seen as being very helpful to the president and lionizing his decision making and contribution. k evan put his finger on it. is it been an exceptional group. those of us who knew a navy seals -- they did not even talk about it. once it starts, it gets into competing narratives, book contracts, money. it is just that for the institution and organization and ultimately bad for the country. >> i agree with evan that is a matter of code, but there is also a code for the commander in chief. the seals are upset about the victory laps he took a look at eisenhower's statements after d-
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day. the statement he released had nothing about him. the one he had in case it failed, he put the blame on himself entirely. >> he did not land on a carrier. >> i am not talking about bush. there was at standard of commanders that we do not have now. >> not to present bush -- not praising bush, just exempting him. [laughter] >> last word. see you next week. >> "inside washington" is brought you in part by the american federation of government employees, proud to make america work. for more information about afge and membership, visit
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